Our Top 10 Tucson Inns and Bed and Breakfasts list begins with a luxury boutique hotel with far-reaching roots. We’re not talking about the oleander blooms beneath your window, although those are also a welcome sight for world-weary eyes. We’re speaking of the historic Arizona Inn, our No. 1 pick and your Tucson vacation destination.
While the Arizona Inn has all the amenities of a boutique hotel, bronzed gates open to reveal a lovely Tucson inn surrounded by cacti, overflowing fountains and blooming gardens. Built during – and in many ways, in the spirit of – the Great Depression, the Arizona Inn’s classic charm has been lovingly maintained, with a few modern updates in all the right places. Casita-style rooms and suites open to private patios shaded by vibrant blue awnings, while the cacti-strewn courtyards give way to a border of towering palm trees. But it’s the inn’s pool that serves as your proverbial oasis in the Arizona desert. A lush, manicured lawn takes the place of traditional concrete, adding a much-needed splash of color to the Tucson desert landscape. White lounge chairs topped with plush cushions in a sunny yellow hue invite you to relax and recline with a drink in hand. And inside the Arizona Inn’s award-wining dining room, breakfast features creative dishes inspired by the local culture and terrain, including blue corn pancakes smothered in prickly pear syrup.
The inn’s onsite cabinet-making shop still operates today, with a master craftsman who creates custom furniture pieces and restores some of the original Hut furniture so that the spirit of the inn is kept alive.
Related Onsite Offerings
Tennis courts, swimming pool, saunas, library, fitness facility, dining room, bar, bicycle rentals and business center.
The Arizona Inn was built in the spirit of the New Deal by Isabella Greenway to help disabled veterans of World War I preserve their jobs in her furniture factory, The Arizona Hut.
We’ll get to the details of the luxury Tucson bed and breakfast that captured our No. 2 spot, but first we’d urge you to study up on your Arizona vegetation. It’s partly for informational purposes, since knowing the names of 28-plus cactus varieties could come in handy as you tour the stunning Sonoran Desert landscape.
At Cactus Cove Bed and Breakfast, it’s also somewhat of a necessity. Names like agave, octillo and saguaro may mean nothing to you now, but they’ll come in handy when locating your Cactus Cove suite – named for the native Tucson flora. Breakfast might be a good time to brush up on your vocabulary – after all, we wouldn’t mind a little studying if it was accompanied by Cactus Cove’s complimentary fresh fruit, cinnamon rolls and breakfast scramble. Sitting poolside also presents the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with a few other household names, including the surrounding Catalina, Rincon and Santa Rita Mountains. Cactus Cove is proud – and rightfully so – to be an eco-friendly Arizona inn. But there’s more to this Tucson bed and breakfast’s green motives than preserving our planet. Its grass-free landscape makes room for cacti and other native plantings. The absence of street lights paves the way for stargazing under the twinkling Tucson sky. And the conservative use of water leaves plenty for where it’s needed most – mainly, the inn’s free-form pool with waterfall.
Related Onsite Offerings
Jacuzzi tubs, showers and terrycloth robes are features of your en-suite bath.
Cactus Cove offers private outdoor showers for those who can’t bear to part from the Tucson scenery, even for a quick shower.
Catch a famous Tucson sunset over a cup of Colombian coffee – complimentary during your Cactus Cove stay.
Naturally, our hunt for Tucson’s top bed and breakfasts involved a related quest for the quintessential Arizona desert experience. Call it fate or a fantastic stroke of luck, but our No. 3 pick’s “Desert Experience Package” anticipated – and delivered – our every heart’s desire!
We asked for authentic Arizona scenery, and we found it at La Zarzuela. The inn’s courtyard is sprinkled with one-of-a-kind touches, including clay pots turned fountains, cacti and other desert flora and a breathtaking mosaic mural featuring native Tucson wildlife. Nearby art galleries and local theaters offer alternative ways to pass the time in an artistic manner, but we were more than content to pull up a chair in the quiet courtyard and watch the occasional gecko or Gila monster mosey up to the potted plants – especially once we had our complimentary glass of wine safely in hand! La Zarzuela – Spanish for “the operetta” – has its share of dramatic good looks. From the outside, it most closely resembles a private villa surrounded by majestic Tucson Mountain peaks. But on the inside, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture is an unexpected surprise, particularly for a Hispanic bed and breakfast in the heart of the Sonoran Desert.
If it’s even possible to outdo such splendid designer digs, La Zarzuela’s scrumptious breakfast buffet – cooked to order – would be the one to do it!
A luxurious one-hour massage concludes your true desert vacation experience at La Zarzuela.
If you're coming from Tucson, take Speedway Road going west, turn left onto Camino de Oeste and proceed to the inn.
Our No. 4 pick brings us to Arizona’s picturesque Sonoran Desert – named for its abundant cacti and fantastic sunsets. And while Casa Tierra was named in honor of the stretch of cherished land it rests on, the real scenery is found inside this exquisite Spanish abode-turned-Tucson bed and breakfast.
At first glance, Casa Tierra is reminiscent of an Old Mexico hacienda. Arched doorways, vaulted ceilings and other details lend this Tucson inn its authentic Spanish appeal. Hand-fired adobe bricks are another prevalent feature, from accents over archways to the glazed adobe floors. Splashes of vibrant turquoise break up the otherwise terracotta décor, while Mexican chimenea fireplaces and potted cacti are the decorations of choice on the private courtyard just beyond your Casa Tierra room or two-bedroom suite. This four-room Tucson inn is the definition of intimate. A charming courtyard invites conversation between you and fellow guests, while secluded suites make it easy to curl up for an afternoon cat nap with the quick-footed gecko as your only companion. With so much to admire inside this Arizona accommodation – authentic Spanish tiles, pottery, paintings and more – you’ll find it hard to step outside, even with the spectacular Sonoran Desert as your backyard!
Related Onsite Offerings
A complimentary basket of fruits, iced tea and chocolates welcomes you to your Casa Tierra room or two-bedroom suite.
Saguaro National Park and Tucson Mountain Park are located three miles from Casa Tierra.
Phoenix Magazine designated Casa Tierra as one of the best bed and breakfasts in Arizona.
You may be tempted to glance at the next Tucson inn on our list and write it off as another authentic Hispanic hacienda in a long line of, well, authentic Hispanic haciendas. But where our No. 4 pick, Casa Tierra, specialized in desert seclusion, our No. 5 pick puts you mere minutes from every imaginable activity on your Arizona vacation.
Of course, proximity to shopping, dining and other Tucson attractions doesn’t mean the Hacienda del Desierto Inn is short on privacy and seclusion. It just means this Tucson inn wasn’t content to settle for just one! Hacienda del Desierto didn’t take any shortcuts when it came to scenery, either. A Spanish-style courtyard forms the inn’s center, while its surroundings include a full sampling of cacti and other Arizona desert vegetation, along with the views you’d expect from an inn tucked into the foothills of the Rincon Mountains. We know what you’re thinking: so what’s the catch? It can’t be the level of comfort, as Hacienda del Desierto Inn boasts some of the finest luxury accommodations we’ve seen. But to truly take advantage of all this Tucson inn has to offer, we suggest bringing a partner to share in its splendor. The inn’s cozy two-bedroom casita serves as your private hideaway for two, complete with a private spa, authentic Old World décor and an antique wood-burning stove for heating things up!
Sample one of Hacienda del Desierto’s dessert jellies for a true taste of Tucson. Flavors include prickly pear, jalapeno, green chili pepper and Arizona red lime.
Doves, quail, hummingbirds and a few of the innkeepers’ feline friends are frequent guests of the Hacienda del Desierto Inn.
Build your very own Arizona itinerary. The Hacienda del Desierto Inn is close to the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, the Tucson Botanical Gardens, Tohono Chul Park and the Old Tucson Studios.
If you thought you couldn’t expect luxury from a Tucson inn, think again. Our No. 6 spot – a newcomer on the Arizona bed and breakfast frontier – is here to lay that old myth to rest. While they call it Dunn’s Way, this luxury bed and breakfast centers around one thing: ensuring you a fantastic Tucson vacation!
Talk about exclusive – Dunn’s Way is comprised of only two guestrooms. The inn’s intimate atmosphere is ideal for romantic vacations, couples getaways and anyone who prefers peace and quiet to fast-paced city life. The delicious breakfast served each morning should be more than enough to tempt you from your suite. And outside, breathtaking Arizona desert scenery invites you to pull up a chair and linger. Perched on a hilltop in the Tucson Mountains, Dunn’s Way overlooks mile after mile of Sonoran Desert splendor. While Dunn’s Way may be small in size, this Arizona inn is big on comfort. Guestrooms are appointed with a delightful blend of Tucson-inspired décor – a style the innkeepers deem luxury with a Southwestern twist. And free of honking horns and your neighbor’s shrill shrieks, you’ll be amazed at all you can hear in this desert landscape. Here, the haunting howls of coyotes and the gentle cooing of doves serve as your Arizona vacation soundtrack.
4975 West Via Scaramuzzo, Tucson, Arizona 85745
Dunn’s Way is proud to be a non-smoking Tucson bed and breakfast.
Dunn’s Way was named “Best Kept Secret” by Inn Traveler Magazine in 2005.
Located in the heart of historic downtown Tucson, our No. 7 spot is a departure from the Sonoran Desert’s sparse, cacti-strewn terrain. It’s also a significant deviation from the traditional bed and breakfast experience – and perfect for those looking for a little something extra on their Tucson, AZ vacation.
Perhaps “little” was an understatement, because there’s nothing minimalist about your morning fare at the Royal Elizabeth bed and breakfast. Scrap all notions of continental breakfasts; this Tucson inn serves up a hearty two courses of creative dishes inspired by its surroundings. Sweet citrus like navel oranges and tangelos pair beautifully with hints of the Sonoran Desert, including green chiles and fragrant Mexican herbs and spices. And the innkeepers do their best to provide a unique dining experience each and every morning, so don’t expect any repeats during your stay! As for the rest of the Royal Elizabeth, you won’t find a hint of frilly curtains, ghastly floral prints or other stereotypical inn decor at this particular Tucson bed and breakfast. Hand-carved doorways of rich, warm wood usher you into this historic home turned Arizona accommodation, while the flickering flames of dozens of candles cast an intimate glow on the Royal Elizabeth’s exquisite bricked fireplace and elegant parlor room.
Related Onsite Offerings
Complimentary self-serve wine bar, complimentary beverages and snacks, swimming pool and spa, open kitchen for guest use, media lounge and gardens.
Tucson’s historic districts are within walking distance of the Royal Elizabeth, including the famous Presidio, which houses many of this Arizona city’s oldest structures.
Constructed in 1878, the Blenman House (as the Royal Elizabeth is known on the National Register of Historic Places) is thought to be the only known example in the world of a San Francisco Victorian home built in Territorial-style of adobe mud.
Step into a quieter time and place when you stay at the luxurious Inns at El Rancho Merlita. You can't go wrong with not one, but two stunning bed and breakfast inns to choose from!
The Inns at El Rancho Merlita are comprised of the Ranch House Inn and the Arroyo Inn. You'll find that each inn has four stunning guest rooms, featuring exquisite furnishings and details with a classic Southwest charm. All of the rooms and suites include King beds, luxury linens, robes and slippers, specialty bath products, private baths, wireless high speed internet access, and direct access to outside patios. Though The Inns at El Rancho Merlita have the intimate atmosphere of a B&B, you'll discover they offer the luxury amenities found at world-class hotels. Wake up each morning to a delicious breakfast inspired by the rich culinary heritage of the region and Southern Arizona’s many artisan food crafters. After a hearty breakfast, spend your day however you choose. Many guests enjoy simply relaxing in the serene atmosphere that surrounds them. Get a massage or take a yoga class at The Retreat building. Go for a refreshing swim at the large saltwater swimming pool. When the day is done, watch the stars come out on the magnificent Stargazing Patio. The Inns at El Rancho Merlita is a place to get away, where New West style meets Old West hospitality.
This beautiful destination was once Merle Norman’s 1950’s ranch retreat.
Related Onsite Offerings
Western library collection, parlor games, hot tub, home theatre and movie collection, labyrinth, table tennis, horseshoes, and croquet.
Our No. 9 pick’s terra cotta-colored walls may blend in with its sparse desert surroundings, but there’s nothing common about this particular Tucson accommodation. With gourmet dining, designer furnishings and a hint of the exotic all packaged in one exclusive desert estate, you’re in for a rare treat at the SunCatcher Fine Country Inn.
We hope you’re feeling social, because this Arizona desert inn introduces you to some of Tucson’s biggest names. Get acquainted with the big three: the Santa Catalina, the Rincon and the Tucson mountain ranges make up the SunCatcher Fine Country Inn’s majestic borders. And with one of New York City’s finest restaurateurs, Janos Siess, at the helm, you know you’re in for fabulous dining from breakfast to dinner! But owner Janos Siess brings more than his culinary expertise to this luxurious Tucson retreat. From the warm, rich tones and overstuffed leather chairs of the main room to the elegantly-appointed private suites, every inch of the SunCatcher Fine Country Inn is filled with artwork and furnishings from his private collection. The DreamCatcher suite features a traditional Kiva fireplace painted a deep, rust-like hue. And the Vaqueros Room is decked out in traditional Southwestern style, including charcoal sketches of its namesake cowboys.
105 Avenida Javelina, Tucson, AZ 85748
Related Onsite Offerings
Private entrances, Jacuzzi tubs, soaking tubs, walk-in showers, triple sheeting, satellite TV, luxury robes, guest computer access and wireless Internet.
Pantano Riding Stables, located nearby, offers sunset and dinner trail rides through the scenic Tucson desert. Dinner rides feature a hearty cowboy buffet of steak, salads, baked potato and dessert.
While a Tucson bed and breakfast may seem more suited to a romantic getaway, we’re happy to report our No. 10 pick eagerly awaits even the youngest Arizona adventurers. From lounging poolside to exploring Tucson’s desert terrain, you and your little ones will find plenty to pass the time at the Jeremiah Inn.
Our No. 10 pick marks the gateway to the Catalina Mountains and stakes its claim on its very own three-acre patch of stunning Tucson landscape. Gazing out at all this desert splendor day in and day out may have you and the kids feeling rather curious, but don’t fret. The Sonora Desert Museum is the perfect place to unlock Arizona’s desert secrets, including the names of the cacti and other vegetation springing up on the Jeremiah Inn’s grounds. If learning on summer vacation doesn’t appeal to your kids, this humble Arizona inn offers frustrated parents a sly way to slip in a little education – starting with breakfast. A stack of fluffy pancakes may seem innocent to the younger set, but the zesty syrup they’re smothered in is actually made from Tucson’s own prickly pear cactus. With a delicious – and different – breakfast offered each day, you’ll be treated to potato and pepper sautés and even more scrumptious, Southwestern-inspired treats on your Arizona family vacation!
The inn’s sparkling pool, surrounded by a well-manicured lawn, is an ideal place to soak up the Tucson sunshine with a complimentary chilled soda or bottled water in hand.
The Jeremiah Inn’s gracious innkeepers are happy to accommodate the picky eaters in your family. Dietary substitutions can be made with advance notice, and kids won’t be able to get enough of playfully-shaped pancakes paired with chocolate milk.
Related Onsite Offerings
Freshly-baked cookies are a regular – and tasty – feature at this Tucson bed and breakfast.